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Hello All,

I have a multipart interview scheduled for next week. I am meeting with two people first then HR then the boss. I continually listen to the interviewing series and am grateful for it (BTW, can you wear out an MP3? :D) So here are my questions.

1. The weakness answer. I wanted to start with, "You mean besides interviewing?" I thought it was clever but I have learned whenever I come up with anything "clever" it has been done a million times. So is this an overused bit of humor or should I go with it?

2. I know the names of the two people I will be meeting together but I am not sure the best way to do the introduction. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

TomW's picture

1) Have you listened to the podcast on how to deal with the weakness question yet? It's very enlightening. Basically, if you list all of your skills relative to the position, say you have 10, in order of how good you are at them, the top 5 are strengths and the bottom 5 are weaknesses. Talk about the bottom 5 and MOST IMPORTANT: what you are doing to improve upon them.

2) What do you mean by "do the introduction"?

jruss2k's picture

Hi Tom,

Thank you for your response. I am sorry I should have been more clear. I have listened to the weakness podcast several times. In it there was a precurser to the answer that involved humor. As in, the answer started with, "I have a poor memory, sorry what was the question?" I wanted to do something similar and thought the "interviewing" answer filled the same purpose before I get into the actual answer.

When doing an introduction the formula is normally, "Hello , , pleased to meet you." To me, this sounds awkward if I were greeting two people at the same time. I am looking for an alternative. I was thinking of the following"

Hello , ...hello ...pleased to meet you both.

Keep in mind the hellos would occur during each handshake and the pleased to meet you both would occur immediately following the second handshake.

Thanks again.

WillDuke's picture

Wow. At first I thought, gosh, this seems like too much detail. Then I think of all the detail M&M give us, so, here's my opinion.

Hello Tom. Will.
Hello Jerry. Will.

I think there's something about looking the person in the eye and stating your name. I don't think it would be awkward to repeat it this way. Now, if they're really close to each other, I'd probably drop the Hello to the 2nd person.

Hello Tom. Will.
Jerry. Will.

Or if you've already said hello to everyone, then.

Tom. Will.
Jerry. Will.

Yeah, the more I think about it I think you should say your name both times. Nail the handshake. Get the eye contact. State your name. They're making a big part of their decision right now.

As for the humor, be careful. If you force it then it will be flat and die right there on the table. I happen to know there are a couple of MT conference attendees who do stand-up comedy. Perhaps they could chime in on how to keep a joke fresh.

TomW's picture

[quote="jruss2k"]Thank you for your response. I am sorry I should have been more clear. I have listened to the weakness podcast several times. In it there was a precurser to the answer that involved humor. As in, the answer started with, "I have a poor memory, sorry what was the question?" I wanted to do something similar and thought the "interviewing" answer filled the same purpose before I get into the actual answer.[/quote]

I'm not too sure about the introduction question. My tendency is to just say "Nice to meet you" as I shake each person's hand.

For the humorous response, if you're thinking about it this much to attempt to be funny, you're not ready to be funny on cue. The people who are really funny tend to think fast and adapt to the exact context, the phrasing of the question, and most importantly, the personality of the interviewer. Even if your exact preparation matches, there's a good chance you will blow the delivery and put both yourself and the interviewer into an awkward situation.

You would be better to focus on your answer to the question itself.

wendii's picture

J...

yes. I've heard that one before. But I'd still be mildly amused.

I think it depends on how much rapport you've built up with your interviewers ...maybe have it up your sleeve in case they seem like they'd appreciate a joke.

I know when I've been in a room with two interviewers all day I can get quite silly - it must be all the oxygen disappearing!

Wendii

jruss2k's picture

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your feedback.

I believe the weakness question will be asked during a second interview (with HR) so it will be just one other person.

I will work on the delivery and if it feels right I will go with it otherwise I will take Tom's advice and get to the real answer.

Mark's picture

Jruss2K-

Sorry for any confusion.

First, don't worry about the introductions. there's no right way or wrong way with two people. You'll do fine.

And, for the life of me I don't know what you're referring to regarding humor on the weakness question. If we included any, it was strictly a function of the podcast, and keeping things light, but it had NOTHING to do with this answer.

The weakness question has a three part answer: Qualify, state the weakness, and then say what you're doing about it. Humor isn't necessary in any way.

I didn't mean for Tom to draw the inference he did about the top 10 skills. I just meant that you shouldn't use the same weakness in every interview if there's a chance that that weakness is a required key strength of the job (persuasion for sales, coding for developer).

Mark

jruss2k's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]
And, for the life of me I don't know what you're referring to regarding humor on the weakness question. If we included any, it was strictly a function of the podcast, and keeping things light, but it had NOTHING to do with this answer.
Mark[/quote]

Thanks Mark,

Regarding the humor. About 22:20 you stated that you thought Mike would say "sometimes I forget things and wait..wait can you repeat the question?"

You go on to say"I bet 80% of people that would be interviewing would love that..."

So I thought I would add the, "besides interviewing" in the same vein. Because of the mixed reaction I think I will just skip it.

Again, I appreciate the feedback.